Affiliates: 5 Signs Your Business Looks Unprofessional

Email

1. Does your email address accurately represent your business? Do you have a free email address from one of numerous free email providers? Using a free email address not only looks unprofessional, it screams I do not care enough about my business to invest $2 a month for a private email address. It is very simple to sign up for a domain name with the ability to create email address at your company’s web address.

Website

2. Using a free blogging platform is like using a free email. Web hosting is extremely cheap for anyone who is seriously attempting to start a profitable online business. Websites give your customer a place to go to learn about your company, your product, and potentially decide to choose your company. Imagine your potential customer tries to research your product, but can not seem to find it online. Instead, she/he searches for your competitor, finds them, likes it, and makes the purchase.

Social Media

3. I am not going to ramble about the importance of Social Media because you already know how important it is. Instead I’m going to tell you how you are incorrectly managing your online profile. Restrict yourself and your friends from posting unprofessional comments around your business pages. Do not publicize unprofessional photos or images of your self on your Facebook profile. Always be respectable in your online appearance. It will reflect your brand. Building trust for your brand is one of the most important things in any market.

Forums

4. Do not spam your services on every forum. Instead try writing powerful tutorials on different forums in your niche. It is okay to include a link in your signature, but use your words wisely. Make sure the link text is enticing for the people who are reading the forums. Be useful on the forums! Remember, the useful image will reflect on your brand.

Customer Service

5. Last, but not least, make outstanding customer service your number one priority. Respond to the comments on your blog or website. Answer as many questions as you can! Your customers are the ones paying your bills.

8 Tips for Effective Online Reputation Management

Negative online content is a serious problem for any person or business. There are different places online where people can mention you or talk about your business either in a constructive or damaging way. Nowadays, most consumers will do a research first before buying a certain product or using a particular service. Consumer complaint websites have become rampant and are extremely influential where they allow anyone to leave feedback and post reviews. It may be confusing or you usually don’t know where to begin when it comes to monitoring and managing your online reputation so here are a few tips for you to get started.

Here are 8 Reputation Management Tips

1. Google Yourself – Take time to Google your business name to find out what is being said about your business online.

2. Answer Negative Comments – Do not ignore negative comments. Be proactive and talk to the person who wrote the review to see how you can fix the problem.

3. Start Blogging – Blog posts help push down negative reviews and get them off of page one. The more you blog, the faster your blog posts will fill up the search engine results.

4. Submit Press Releases – Publish press releases on a regular basis to keep a steady stream of fresh and positive content on the web about you or your business.

5. Get Social – Google places a lot of quality on social media sites – the more social media profiles you have, the better. You can also ask your happy and satisfied customers to leave reviews for your service or company.

6. Join Industry Specific Forums – Find forums related to your industry and join them. Become active on these forums and always have your business link your signature if allowed.

7. Practice Search Engine Optimization – SEO is good for more exposure and for building s strong reputation in terms of relevance and importance. Make sure your website and other web properties are fully optimized.

8. Think Before You Speak Online – once you post information on the web, it is out there and can’t be taken back so post carefully.

Making a strong reputation whether online or offline is quite significant for any business or individual. People, businesses, or even employers would likely refuse to interact or do business with a person or company if they found negative information about them in the Internet. Online Reputation Management companies offer various online reputation services to help people and businesses remove negative content. These companies are also responsible of monitoring or keeping track of their social media presence. Consider online reputation management as an online version of Public Relations. It is simply improving your public image or your business’ image online using the right plan of action.

How to Make a "Sticky" Web Site with Web Forums

Internet is all about communication between people. Those people belong to some groups. People with similar interests form groups where they are able to discuss about their area of interest, to help each other and to learn more about other members. One of the most used ways for communication between like-minded people are web forums. How this can help to your business?

In order to have success on the Internet you have to have repeat visits. In order to people visit your site on a regular basis you have to constantly make your content fresh, to make regular updates. You can post articles relevant to your business, you can post the latest industry news and you can have a web forum.

One of the main advantages of web forums over before mentioned techniques for having a “sticky” web site is that after some time, web forums are “self going”, at least in some way. In other words, you won’t have to spend your time in creating fresh content – your forum members will do that instead of you! This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do anything. Depending on the size of the forum, there are people called moderators who take care that the discussion is going on the right way. Companies have management, web forums have moderators. Some popular web forums have more than 50,000 members, and anytime you can find at least 200-300 people online. Corporate forums don’t have that many members but you will also need at least one person who will be responsible for your forum.

Web forums are great because this is one of those ways that help you to stay in touch with your visitors and customers. Visitors need to complete the registration form so this way you will have their names and email addresses. This way you can offer them to subscribe to your email newsletter. Like in subscription forms for email newsletters, don’t require too much information from your visitors. Every member of your forum will have an unique username and a password.

Web forums are consisted of categories. So if you are in Internet marketing business your forum can have categories like Email Marketing, Search Engines, Domain Names, Web Hosting, Web Services and etc. For the start, it is better to have fewer categories that will be more general. Later you can make more categories that will be more specific. Every category should have a moderator who is usually very knowledgeable person about that category who will start interesting discussions and, therefore, engage other members to post their answers.

The most important thing in having a successful web forum is quality of posts and then number of posts. Quality and only after that quantity. When you start your forum, you will probably have a low posting activity. That’s why you will have to “persuade” your forum members to be posters and not only lurkers. This won’t be so easy.

At first, in lack of discussion, maybe you will need to post interesting news about your industry and to post smart tips that you know that are of interest of you members. Later, with increasing your forum membership base you will have more and more posting activity. In order to build your membership base you can ask your members to invite their friends to join the forum. Also, you can offer a contest based on quality and number of messages. For example, you can start with choosing the Member of the Month. Winner will be chosen by other members based on quality of his/her posts. It is great for increasing loyalty. Another good thing for increasing your forum activity is to say, for example, that people with more that 30 posts will get an e-book and members with more than 100 posts discount on your products. Usually web forum software categorize members in groups so new members with less than 10 posts can be in Newbies group, with less than 100 posts in Juniors category and with more than 100 posts Addicts. Forum software usually offers a so called Avatars feature so your members will be able to place an image below their username. There they can place their photos, too. Also, quality web forums software offers that members rate posts.

Web forums are great supplement for articles and email newsletters, for getting a better feedback. For example, when you post an article on your web site or in your email newsletter, at the end of your article you can make a link to a discussion about that article and topic on your web forum. Also, you can include subjects of your most popular threads on your main page.

Having a corporate web forum is a value-added service to your visitors. If you build a quality web forum they will appreciate it very much because you are the one who provides them with source for gaining new knowledge. Also, with web forums you are building ongoing relationship with your members. Some of them are your clients and many of them can be your clients. It is up to you. With providing great answers in your forums you will increase your credibility that can persuade your members to buy your services. People buy from companies they trust.

Web forums are very useful for companies in one more way. For example, if you are a software company, you can (and you should) make several categories in your forum for your products and services. There, your members will be able to ask about your software, to give tips for maximizing its possibilities, to give suggestions for future upgrades… So this way, many of your forum members will serve as your technical stuff. Did I say free of charge?

Quality web forum makes the web site very “sticky”. People are coming back to read new messages, to check if they have private messages, to post new messages… They will be notified each time someone replies in thread they watch, if they chose that option.

Actually, the only disadvantage of web forums is the amount of time to get it up and running, to have an ongoing conversation and good members activity. Later you will have to spend your time for moderation, in order to make sure that members post appropriate messages, that they are not spamming and that the discussion is on the right track. However, good news that your reward will be higher profit, as well.

There are quality free and fee based web forum software. Recommendation for free forum software goes to Simple Machines – http://www.simplemachines.org and for fee-based forum software for vBulletin http://www.vbulletin.com.

Easy and Versatile Online Consumer Forum

Introduction

When a customer is unhappy, where should he go? When he wants to register a complaint, what is the right way? Should he come straight to the website; should he make endless phone calls to the customer care; or should he post his anger over Social Media?

The Article is written for the consumers to know more about the Online Consumer Forum, that can get to know more on minor dissatisfaction just in minutes in terms of lodging the complaints and the quick resolution towards it.

What happens, when fiascos happen!

You know, we know, and the world knows an unhappy set of customers can cause debacle to any company. Nobody wants a customer-company fiasco but, customers have their own reasons to do so! Categorically they are realistic, sometimes over expectant in nature! An effective e-commerce website can even lose its handful of prospective buyers if matters are not resolved at an early pace.

Why are Online Consumer Forums necessary?

An online consumer forum has now become a need to consumers because there are many manufacturing companies who selling such a products which make unsatisfied. The consumers are very innocent they are not much aware of their consumer rights due to this reason most of the consumer facing lots of problem from companies products and services. Actually, the quantities of misused purchasers are quickly increased in the market. There are most of the shopkeepers and owners taking the advantages of different ways.

There many consumers who are being cheated by various business owners due to various reasons such as like low-quality services, expiry products selling, wrong billing for products, excess charges of product and services, wrong measurement and weight, poor quality product, selling a non-branded product, defective products, and many more issues.

Forums are like Different Beast

You have to consider the nature of online forums and structured online communities. On Twitter, I have to opt-in to you. I have to click the “Follow” button to see what you say. The same is true on Facebook. You don’t enter my stream unless I explicitly opt-in. These are your profiles. This is not the case on forums where everyone can see everything. It is a community space and not your space. As such, the guidelines for the forum must be respected at all times.

You have to think of each forum like its own country. One forum will have totally different guidelines and social norms from another. Many countries subscribe to similar standards of law, but even in those cases, there can be local laws and slight differences than what you are used to. Failing to understand this can lead to backlash and can end up with you being rightfully tarred as a spammer. Do you think that it is easier to ask for permission than forgiveness? Not on forums. It’s hard to ask for forgiveness when you’ve already been banned. Initially, joining in a forum may seem scary. But, it’s really not that bad once you have the proper handle on it.

Understanding how to Engage on Consumer Forums

When you join a forum, you are joining to contribute to that forum. Not to take advantage of it and not to siphon people off to your website. I recently had someone join a forum that I manage and they started a thread to link people to a blog post they had written. This was removed and I sent the member a nice, polite message to let them know. In his response, the member said that he didn’t have time to post replies on my forums or any forums, only to link to his blog, because “life is too short.”

What’s great? Just don’t expect to be welcome on many forums. You have to want to be there. If you don’t, it shows and people will pick up on it. If you are actually interested in contributing, let’s talk about how you can get started on the right foot. An individual forum may allow you to go further than what I describe below, but to understand that, you must become better acquainted with the community and, perhaps, talk with the staff. What I lay out here will give you a good foundational basis for that.

Are Forum helpful to Consumer in each way they handle consumer complaints?

Forums and structured, focused communities offer a great deal of value, representing a concentrated audience of the people that you probably want to reach. They are engaging now, around your company, your products, and your industry. I’m not saying everyone should join a forum and start contributing, just that you should be aware of them as a legitimate, powerful platform. Engaging with individual forums should be a strategic option you consider, right alongside engaging with people on Facebook and Twitter. They are worth your consideration. The Best way to get the resolution of the complaints is by Lodging the online complaints in the Consumer Forum site.

Mistakes You Should Avoid in Forum Marketing

When it comes to finding potential consumers and directing traffic towards your business’s website, online forums can be a great platform. These are web locations where users informally interact with one another on selected topics. This is particularly why forum marketing can be beneficial, since you may be able to find a cluster of potential customers all at one place. For instance, you can look for a topic of interest related to your product and then use the top forums to market your product or services.

This may be done through social media pages, recommendations and direct interaction. When doing this, however, you must make sure that you avoid some common forum marketing mistakes.

For one, you must never market your services through guest usernames on popular forums. This may make it look like spamming, and can cause you to be banned permanently. It will also make your marketing look scattered and unconvincing. Therefore, always register yourself, preferably with your brand name, and use the same identification to post information around the forum.

Secondly, you must avoid direct and abrupt marketing. Web users today are efficient enough to distinguish good marketing strategies from fraudulent ones. If you immediately begin to use your username to post back-links and direct information about your product, it will eventually leave a negative impact on all those who come across it. Naturally, this does not make you seem like you are providing a solution, but like you are merely trying to make quick money. Therefore, make sure that you assist potential customers appropriately and make a recommendation for the product only if they genuinely seem to need it.

Moreover, you must make sure that you avoid all fraudulent strategies that might land you in trouble later. For example, it is a very common practice to make multiple accounts on forums and post information pretending to be regular users. This is likely to be eventually recognized as spamming, which can leave a lasting negative impact on your business. Therefore, make sure you only use legal and appropriate strategies for forum marketing.

Another mistake you must avoid is to try to hide negative responses. Often, negative reviews are pushed out of sight by loading a page with positive ones. A better way to deal with negative criticism is to respond to it politely and to discuss it with the customers. Instead of ignoring embarrassing complaints, assuring customers that you will take care of the problem will go a long way for the reputation of your business.